Amazon is targeted by £900 million lawsuit in the UK

The American giant is accused of illegally promoting its products on the platform.

US internet giant Amazon is the subject of a £900m lawsuit brought on behalf of millions of UK users who accuse it of illegally promoting its products on its platform. The case is to be brought before the end of October at London’s Competition Appeal Court and will claim that the tech giant is abusing its dominant position and harming consumers, according to a statement published on Thursday.

The lawsuit, led by consumer rights activist Julie Hunter, alleges that Amazon induces through “a secret algorithm that promotes it“, users to click on its section “buy box(shopping box). According to this press release, there are products sold directly by the platform or by third-party sellers.who pay huge storage and delivery coststo find oneself presented. “More than 80% of purchases on Amazon are made via the offers in the +Buy Box+“, but “many independent sellers are excluded even when they offer the same product for less“, according to the press release. In a statement obtained by AFP on Thursday, Amazon responds that the complaint is “unjustified» and that the e-commerce giant «always strives to support the 85,000 businesses that sell their products in (its) UK store“. “Over half of our physical product sales on our UK site come from independent seller partnersadds Amazon.

In the view of the European Commission

In July, Amazon had proposed a deal to end two investigations by the European Commission, which suspects it of violating competition rules, particularly in the preferential treatment given to sellers using its delivery services. The platform is committed to ensuring a “equal treatment of all sellers“for”buy box“and”to display another competing offer“. In particular, it promised, as part of its Prime program, to allow sellers “free to choose any carrier». The European Commission, which opened an investigation in July 2019, also criticizes Amazon for relying on commercial data from independent retailers to calibrate its own offer. However, no agreement has yet been reached and discussions are continuing.

In Italy, in December 2021, the competition policeman fined Amazon 1.128 billion euros for discriminating against sellers who had not used its logistics service. The company appealed. American technology giants are often accused of breaking competition rules. Google was severely sanctioned by the EU for a total amount of 8 billion euros. Microsoft has also received several European sanctions for imposing its Internet Explorer browser. Since May 2022, Apple has been accused of abusing a dominant position in contactless payments.

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